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the civil war in afghanistan. i do not understand why members of congress want to spend $10 billion a month in afghanistan when our people back home are struggling. i can assure you the american people do not understand it, either. in june, a poll was conducted by the pew research center where 56% of the american people polled said bring our troops home now. not later. mr. speaker, i brought back the picture of edy and stephanie. their father and lieutenant colonel palmer, died, and that continues to haunt me. and the way they died continues to haunt me. that's the reason i wanted to bring this picture down here again. they were given the task to train afghans to be policemen. the two were shot and murdered by one of the trainees. what really haunts me is the email sergeant baldwin sent to his wife the day before he was shot and killed. i quote the email, i don't trust them. i don't trust them. for anything. not for anything at all. why in the world do we continue to send our young men and women overseas to get theirselves blown up, shot, and murdered by people they are trying to train? the
and afghanistan. and my belief that there is a smarter way to achieve our national security goals. and so, madam speaker, since that day i stood here in this spot to say over and over again that these wars are eroding our spiritual core. bankrupting us morally and fiscally. teaching our children that warfare is the new normal. i have delivered these speeches as a member of the majority and the minority when the president was a member of my party and when he was not, and today i am doing it for the 400th time. when i began the war in iraq was still quite popular. as was the president who launched it. but we spoke out anyway, refusing to bend on principle because we knew that we did not belong there. my colleagues, representative barbara lee and representative maxine waters and i, we called ourselves the triad, started the out of iraq caucus. we first -- forced the first house vote to bring our troops home. along the way i visited iraq, i tried and i learned on that trip and my opinion was confirmed against that very war, but at the same time it increased my admiration for our troops. gradually th
rodriguez says he doesn't expect violence in afghanistan to start decreasing until next year. from the pentagon earlier today, this is 45 minutes. >> general rodriguez, it's counselor dave lapin at the pentagon. if you're ready to go, i'll introduce you and we'll get started. >> ok, dave, go ahead, thanks. >> thank you. good morning to those here, good evening in afghanistan. i'd like to welcome pack to the pentagon briefing room, army lieutenant general david rodriguez. he's commander of the international security assistance force joint command, also known as i.j.c. and also the deputy commander of the united states forces afghanistan. general rodriguez's current tour began in june, 2009, he became the first commander of the i.j.c. in october of that year. prior to that, general rodriguez was commander of regional command east for 15 months from january, 2007 to april, 2008. next week after two straight years in command and more than 40 months in after gap stan over the past 4 1/2 year, general rodriguez is ski wruled to change command and return stateside to have u.s. army forces
services and a surge of combat vets from the iraq and afghanistan wars entering the system, the demand for v.a. health care services has increased dramatically in recent years. this bill provides $58.6 billion for v.a. discretionary funding, $2.3 billion over current funding. the bill also includes $52.5 billion in fy 2013 advanced appropriations for vets' medical care. one of the very few areas in which this bill provides an increase in funding is v.a. medical research, which is $72 million over the budget request to restore funding to the current level. with little room to maneuver on the v.a. side of the ledger, the vast majority of the savings in the bill comes from incrementing or defunding certain military construction projects. the bill provides $13.7 billion for military construction, $1 billion below the request. the milcon reductions in the bill are restricted to the active-duty components. the guard and reserve components, family housing, barrack and other accounts are fully funded at the president's request. every military construction project funded in this bill is authori
troops home from afghanistan. i do that because i have the privilege to represent the third district of north carolina, the home of camp lejeune marine base, cherry point and seymour johnson air force base. i have been privileged since i didn't serve to have great relationships with active duty and retired marines in the district, and i want to share with this house, mr. speaker, that we continue to support a corrupt leader and a corrupt government. just recently, the half brother of mr. karzai, half brother named wali karzai, was murdered in afghanistan. this only reinforces the fact that afghanistan is in a fragile situation at every level of their government. it is in chaos, quite frankly. just this week i spoke with a marine colonel who's been to afghanistan three times. he was in my office on tuesday, and he shared the same sentiments as the retired marine general who has been advising me for 20 months, and recently i emailed the general and said, please give me your ideas of what mr. obama has proposed in bringing 10,000 of our troops out in july and then another 23,000 in -- n
in afghanistan and next director of the c.i.a. certains -- earns a salary of approximately $180,000. the secretary of defense earns about $200,000. how then can we justify salaries of up to $700,000 for defense contractor executives? i understand there may be contractors who supply services to our nation that our government cannot perform on its own. however, i am also absolutely certain there is no one single private contractor whos value to our national security is twice that of the commander in chief of the united states military. at a time when the chairman of the joint chiefs is telling us that the nation's deaf is the number one threat facing america, we cannot continue -- debt is the number one threat facing america, we cannot keep paying private contractor salaries that are more than triple the pay of our military leadership. my amendment simply states that funds in this bill will not be used to pay a federal government salary for any individual defense contractor that exceeds the valerie of the secretary of defense. that sal -- salary of the secretary of defense. that s
it comes to discussing the merits of continuing our efforts in afghanistan, the republicans clamor to defend it despite our fiscal mess. i want to remind my republican friends the situation we are in now is not new. throughout history from rome to the ottoman empire to the soviet union the over extension of military and protracted struggles in foreign countries has crippled empires. some historians have credited ronald reagan for the soviet union's collapse but what really bankrupted the soviet union was its wars, just like us, they paid a crushing price both financially and morally in afghanistan. overextending geopolitically comes at a cost over time in any nation that thinks otherwise is setting itself up to repeat the mistakes of the past. as of today, the united states has spent more than 2 1/2 times the percentage of g.d.p. on afghanistan that the -- than the soviet union spent on its g.d.p. during its nine-year war in afghanistan. public polls are clear, americans know the cost of the war in afghanistan is unsustainable and want us to withdraw as soon as possible. when it co
the president to wage war. we do so at a time when the united states is so engaged in wars in afghanistan and iraq and our national debt exceeds $14 trillion. in light of these circumstances and the lack of united states vital interests in in libya, i do not believe we should be intervening in a civil war there. american combat forces are so efficient at certain types of operations and are over the horizon technology is so potent that the use of the military instrument to right wrongs exists as a tremendous temptation for presidents. american intervention in libya did not come as a result of a disciplined assessment of our vital interests or an authorization debate in the congress. given all that is at stake in pakistan, afghanistan, iran, saudi arabia, egypt, syria, yemen and elsewhere in the islamic world, a rational strategic assessment would not devote sizable american military and economic resources to a civil war in libya. it is an expensive diversion that leaves the united states and our european allies with fewer assets to respond to other contingencies. under the constitution, it
, reduced spending on the wars in afghanistan and iraq and through targeted cuts to mandatory spending. it doesn't raise taxes and it doesn't touch medicare, medicaid or social security. again, this is not a perfect plan. i have been on the floor many times in favor of a balanced package that includes cuts to spending, domestic, defense and mandatory, but also includes increased revenues. the reid princess plan doesn't e those goals -- the reid plan doesn't achieve those goals but i hope we will get there eventually. this is not a proposal i would have written, but i'm one of more than 100 members of the senate and more than 535 members of congress, and i don't get everything i want. none of us here in congress get everything we want. that's the nature of compromise. that's the nature of democracy, and that's why the framers of the constitution created checks and balances in government. that's why they created two chambers in congress and three branches of government, and when you're a leader in government, you just don't have the luxury of drawing a line in the sand and walking away.
of the war in afghanistan, which is what we're going to spend over the next four years? now there is a good cut that we ought to make. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee rise? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to recognize a true american hero, private first class joe immediate. private class meed was a member of mike company third battalion, 26th marines. he died in vietnam when his battalion was fightin while carrng a wounded comrade to a wounded helicopter, he stepped on a land mine and was killed. he was on a -- he was only 19 at the time. in recognition of his valor he was awarded the silver star. dwayne crawford, his former commanding officer who recently founded a scholarship in his officer, had these words to say about joe's actions. with total disregard for his own life, he continually exposed himself to danger by administering first aid to his wounded comrades. offering them comforting words and helping them to me
? well, they say that the savings from winding down the wars in iraq and afghanistan don't count. specifically, they say that these savings are -- quote -- "a widely ridiculed accounting gimmick that breeds cynicism." unquote. yet all but three of the 43 senators who signed this letter voted for the ryan budget on may 25 this year. that budget counted the same drawdowns as almost identical in savings. so those savings were legitimate enough to secure their support for the ryan budget but not legitimate enough to secure their support for leader reid's debt ceiling compromise. and here we are on the precipice, and suddenly they've done a 180-degree turn. either these savings count or they don't. you can't have it both ways. so we are proposing exactly what republicans have been saying that they want. yet instead of accepting this deal, they're using what precious time we have left to push forward with their agenda, and it's not even their agenda. it's the tea party agenda. their radical agenda is a wolf in sheep's clothing. last night we voted down speaker boehner's plan which requ
or afghanistan. at one point the c.i.a. director, leon panetta, speculated that if osama bin laden had been captured alive, he would have been sent to guantanamo. over time, it became clear that the administration did not have a policy in place that could address this circumstance. and so without a straight answer, we were left in the dark on how this administration would handle an enemy combatant captured overseas. finally after waiting 18 months, i think we have our answer. as was disclosed yesterday, he has been in military custody for months during which time he has been interrogated by various law enforcement agencies. however, now he has been read his miranda rights. this is a somalian terrorist captured overseas has now been read his miranda rights. why? why? why is a man who is a known terrorist and member of the united states -- and enemy of the united states being afforded the protections of an american citizen? and now he is in the hands of civilian authorities and will be given all the rights according to a u.s. citizen in a civilian court. it is truly astonishing that this admi
a group of army soldiers who were returning home from the front lines in afghanistan with a bill for almost $3,000 or $200 a piece for each soldier to check four bags on a scheduled domestic flight. americans were right low outraged by the incident -- rightly outraged by the incident which was posted in a youles tube video. the fourth bag, for which he was charged $200, contained an import carbine rifle, a .9 millimeter pistol. a spokesman for the veterans of foreign wars told the associated press the fees were the worst welcome home any soldier could receive. the shock of even being charged is enough to make service men and women simply shake their heads and wonder who or what it is they are protecting, end quote. members of the armed forces who are serving our country on the front lines should not endure personal financial hardship when they are traveling to or returning from war zones. yet, the media's reporting of the incident last month showed that major u.s. carriers were applying the same or similar policies across the board. airlines were charging soldiers to check four r
of the american people. >> mr. speaker, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff is in afghanistan and was asked by a number of soldiers whether they were going to get their checks next week. how can you allow them to wonder whether they are going to get paid? >> we will be able to come to an agreement. >> if we could have had this with a bipartisan agreement? >> it could have been finished early this past week. there was a bipartisan agreement between myself and the leaders to move the underlying bill through the house yesterday. all the president had to do was say yes and it would have moved quickly through both the house and the senate. we wasted a week that we did not need to waste. now we have been driven into this and the president has to decide how we will get out of it. >> what gives you confidence? >> in spite of our differences, we are dealing with a reasonable and as possible people that want this crisis to end as quickly as possible. >> let me add, the country is not going to default for the first time in history. that is not going to happen. we have a level of seriousness with the
in afghanistan in a strategy of nation building that is not the best use of our national security, not the best use of our soldiers who are there to fight for our national security, but those are decisions that were made in the past. and we must pay the bill on those decisions even when i disagreed with them. and then we need to put together a plan that takes on our deficit and our debt, and that plan has to put all of the options on the table. some of my colleagues across the aisle, they said, well, we want to protect the tax spending programs where we've tucked in tax provisions for the wealthy and the well connected. we want to defend those. we don't want to touch those for the best-off americans. but we want to cut the programs for working americans. that is unacceptable. we have seen enormous increase in the disparity between the wages and welfare of our citizens in general and the best-off becoming much, much wealthier proportionately. we can't continue to say that we're going to protect the well-connected while attacking working families. that's not the america we want to build. we want
these savings from withdrawing from iraq and afghanistan. and essential education, job creation, housing, and environmental investments where america's economic recovery and for our strong economic future would be protected from the slashing cuts proposed by the house republicans. the irony is, republican leaders previously have backed all the spending reductions called for in leader reid's plan. now, i don't agree -- and i suspect all of us don't agree with all aspects of this proposed solution. but we're not going to have 100 solutions on this floor. we're going to have one that we can vote on. i wish this would have included new revenue, especially by ending such costly and outdated tax benefits as those still enjoyed by the biggest oil companies to help us pay off our debt even more quickly. i'd like to help pay for the debt incurred by the inexcusable earlier decisions to enter two wars without paying for them. and i continue to believe the surcharge for the wealthiest would mean that they would pay more of their fair share after so many years of tax cuts that have tilted far more t
billion on katrina. in afghanistan we spend $325 billion -- million a day and in iraq we've spent about $100 million a day. that's almost $1 billion a day. we're talking about $950 -- almost $1 billion in light rail. we can both be right and smart and compassionate if we do the right thing. in our budgeting process we should have an unexpected fund for unforeseen circumstances, we should have learned from katrina. we're looking at probably about $4 billion in term of army corps of engineers. i think our leaderships need to get together and just say that we can do this without fighting among each other, without making each other wrong. because that's wrong. in the eyes of the public, they want us to do the job that needs to get done and have our leadership do that. and so my plea is that we can be fiscally responsible and we can be compassionate and we do that with good planning and good budgeting process, including having contingency funds that should have been there. and so we have an opportunity right now to show the public that we can do all these things and still come out winners fo
is in afghanistan. he was asked by soldiers whether they will get their checks next week. how can you allow these soldiers to wonder whether they will be paid? >> the senator and i are both confident that we are going to be able to come to some agreement with the white house and and this impasse -- and end this impasse. >> [inaudible] with a bipartisan agreement next door? >> we could have had this finished early this week. there is a bipartisan agreement between myself and the senate leaders to move the underlying bill that we moved to the house yesterday. all the president had to do was say yes. that bill would have moved quickly through the house and senate. we have wasted a week that we did not need to waste. we have been driven into this cul-de-sac and it is time for the president to decide how we are going to get out of it. >> what gives you confidence? >> in spite of our differences, we are dealing with reasonable, responsible people who want to this crisis to end as quickly as possible. i am confident we will. >> let me just add, you know, our country is not going to default for the
is in afghanistan. he was asked whether they are going to get their checks next week. >> i think we are beth confident we'll be able to come to some agreement with the white house in this impasse. heading the way of the vote. by this time, we could have had this bipartisan agreement nextdoor. we could have had this bill flippished early between next week. there was an agreement between myself and leaders to be moved through the house. for the president, all he had to do was say yes. that bill would have moved quickly through the house and senate. we wasted a week we didn't need to waste. we've driven through the cul-de-sac and it is time for the president to decide howle handle it. >> what gives you confidence? >> in spite of our differences, we are dealing with reasonable and responsibly people that want this crisis to end as quickly as possible. i'm confident it will. let me add, our country is not going to default for the first time in history, that is not going to happen we now have a level of seriousness with the right people at the table that we needed and thought we had last weekend.
with afghanistan there. over the years, the number has gone up steadily. the first few years of the strike 2004 to 2007, just a handful, and we see it going up. 2010, under the obama administration, really rising. but a policy never fully publicly articulated. 118 strikes last year. 45 so far this year. pakistanis said a couple of months ago that they wanted to stop here they ordered the cia out of an air base in pakistan were some of the raids have been launched. by my reckoning, there have been a dozen sense, so have these been done like the big law the raid itself against the will of the pakistan government? we do not know for sure, but we do know that our defensive about it, and last month, for example, john brennan tried to allay concerns and talked about new procedure and said that in the past year there have not been a single collateral death because of the exceptional efficiency and provision -- decision of the capabilities they been able to develop. they say no one has been killed. >> so have they delivered on that envisioned? >> this is where the new research comes in here it has been
on the home of someone serving in a rack or afghanistan. -- in iraq and afghanistan. host: why did they see this as an area that need to be filled? guest: the problem has been wrapped up in the general difficulties. it turns out a lot of homes have gone into -- a lot of people have gone into default of mortgages. some companies are better than others at collecting monthly payments and keeping track of paperwork. the ones have proved not to be so good at it have caught service members in the riptide. we have not gotten your payment, we over charge them. foreclosure. that sort of thing going on. this has been a politically embarrassing process of writing wrongs done against members of the military in active duty. host: gym as white as a deployed serviceman and against paying his mortgage -- jim asked why a deployed servicemen against paying his mortgage? guest: he is not exempt against paying his mortgage. is exempt against being foreclosed on. as it has been explained to me, a service member might be in the field for a week or two and have virtually no contact with the outside work force the
of iraq and afghanistan, it would take a serious look out of social security and medicare and in many cases contributing to this deficit. and it would say that those who benefit from ethanol subsidies and oil company tax breaks, the wealthiest people in this country would have to pay a little bit more to pay their fair share. something like that is what should be on the floor here this afternoon because it can pass, the president can sign it and it can solve the fiscal problems of this country or take us in the right direction. but we don't have something like that. instead we have a plan that says the following and puts it in the constitution, the guy who runs an ethanol company who gets massive public subsidies can make profits is completely left alone. he doesn't have to do anything. but for the woman who cleans his office at night is going to have to pay more to go to college, more for health care for herself, her children and her parents and more for just about anything she wants in her life. there's something wrong with that picture. sacrifice that is broadly shared is needed in
of every six department of defense dollars is going to afghanistan. we got the taliban out of power. karzai stood for free elections in 2004. al qaeda was dismantled and sent into western pakistan. this is not a nation-building exercise. this is a counter-terror exercise. we do not need 100,000 troops on the ground of the cost we're paying today in order to get the job done. [applause] thank you. i am here to tell you the future of the united states is not going to be determined in the prairies of afghanistan. the future of the united states is going to be determined by how well-prepared we are to compete in a highly competitive 21st century. that battle will be waged across the pacific ocean. we have some work to do. as you walk out of this building, i want you to remember why we're in this race. it is because it is about the generation and we're about to pass the country to and the condition in which they will find it. my priorities will be debt and spending. we have no choice. trajectory we're on is unsustainable. launching a new industrial revolution is within our grasp. it has happened
they're dodging bullets in places like afghanistan. we'd have confidence. but instead he says he can't guarantee. mr. speaker, we know he can. we know he can guarantee. we should push that on him out of this house to let him know where we stand, so the american people understand there is a moral standard here. one is, tell the truth. the second moral standard is, pay our military, the other moral standard is guarantee the full faith and credit of the united states government. i laid out the rest of these priorities, mr. speaker and cut, cap, and balance is an important position to stand on. the leverage that's here now must be used or we shirk our responsibility. had the leverage been stronger back in 1995, that extra vote in the senate that i spoke about some minutes ago would have been there, i believe and i believe the balanced budget amendment would have been sent to the states and i believe the states would have ratified it and if that had been part of the constitution the kay i came -- the day i came here in january of 2003 i wouldn't have had to walk around on the floor and fi
of questions. >> mr. speaker, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff is in afghanistan and he was asked whether soldiers will get their checks next week. how can you allow the soldiers to even wonder whether they will get paid? >> senator mcconnell and higher months -- both confident that we can come to an agreement with the white house and in this impasse. -- end this impasse. >> we could have had this bill finished early this past week. there was a bipartisan agreement between myself and the senate leaders to move the underlying bill that will be in moving to the house yesterday. the president, all he had to do was say yes and that milk -- that bill would have move quickly through both the house and senate. so we have wasted a week we did not need to waste. now we have been driven into this call the second it is time for the president to decide how we are going to get out of it. >> what gives you confidence? >> in spite of our differences, i think we are dealing with a reasonable, responsible people who want this crisis to end as quickly as possible and i am confident that we will. >>
and afghanistan, saving $1 trillion in the process. our troops in the middle east deserve our admiration and praise for so successfully carrying out their missions. we must, however, continue to press for a strategy that will bring our troops home as soon as we safely can. the reid deficit plan would find an additional $40 billion in savings by cutting fraud and abuse in tax compliance and a number of non-defense federal programs and $60 billion in other savings, including cutting unnecessary spending on agricultural subsidies and auctioning off electromagnetic spectrum that the government currently holds. finally, by cutting the government by over $2 trillion, we'll have to borrow less money than anticipated and that will save an additional $400 million -- sorry, $400 billion in projected interest costs. in total, the senate democratic plan on which we will vote would cut the deficits by $2.7 trillion over the next ten years. while senator reid's proposal would not address the tax gimmicks and loopholes throughout our tax code that help favor the well-connected, this omission does not m
raging abroad in iraq and afghanistan, also unpaid for. and a new entitlement program passed in the past congress unpaid for. and a wall street that instead of being a free market was a free-for-all market. you put that all together and that's what we're coming out of. so i'm wondering, you know, your answer to me suggests that there isn't anymore monetary policy that is going to come forward that could in essence seek a more faster, more robust recovery with a greater job growth? >> well, as i said in my, in my testimony, we, given that there's a lot of uncertainty how the economy will evolve, we have to keep all options, both for tightening and for easing on the table. we're doing that. but, again, we are already providing an exceptional amount of accommodation and, as you know, recovery is still pretty slow. >> now i want to turn to the question of the debt ceiling. i know you discussed that quite a bit. i find it interesting under president bush's years, he raised the debt ceiling to the tune of about $5.4 trillion, during his period of time. i didn't hear the same comments then that
voting, for example, on the war in afghanistan, they are committing the united states of america to spending spending $10 billion a month in defense of our men and women in uniform, members of our family who are over there waging this war. they voted for that. now president obama has said to them the bill's coming in for the war in afghanistan, i have to borrow money to pay for it. and these same members of congress, house and senate, who voted for the war in afghanistan are now saying we won't pay the bills, we won't extend the debt ceiling, we won't allow you, mr. president, to borrow the money to sustain our military forces in afghanistan. that is literally what we're talking about here in this debate. the american people are starting to come to understand it because when you first ask a person do you want to extend the debt ceiling, the obvious answer is no, are you crazy, senator? why would i want more debt in this country? we need less debt, not more. don't you get it? understandably, that's the public reaction, but when you go to the point of explaining that this is to pay
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